No more "Mo"

Students mark the end of Movember.


Students in Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta are saying hello to their razors after a month’s break.

More than 60 students said goodbye to their “mo’s” on Monday, Dec. 1, after raising more than $10,000 for Movember Canada. The students’ whiskers were whisked away by instructors and senior leadership from the faculty at the Movember shave-off.

This year’s fundraising initiatives included the sale of a Movember calendar that featured medical students, as well as class and faculty donations and ice cream and bake sales. Female students in the faculty also joined the campaign and acted as “Mo Sistas” by sporting fake moustaches to show their support.

For Joseph Dimitry, co-ordinator of the Medical Students’ Association Movember fundraising team, the campaign is about building awareness for men’s health as well raising money.


“It’s really important for men to take their health seriously,” said Dimitry. “We are proud to come together to raise awareness and support important research. It’s been great to see my fellow students team up to take part.”

This group is one of the most successful student-led fundraising teams in Canada, having raised in excess of $50,000 since 2012.

Fraser Brenneis, vice-dean of education in the faculty, assisted with the shave-off and was impressed with the students’ efforts.

“These students are continuing a wonderful tradition of showing commitment to the community and emphasizing the importance of men’s health,” said Brenneis. “We are proud of our students for their dedication in raising money for such an important cause.”

The efforts of the students’ are also directly connected to research in the faculty.

Last year, John Lewis, who leads a multidisciplinary team, was given a $1.5 million grant from Movember Canada. Lewis, an associate professor in oncology and the Sojonky chair of prostate cancer research, also participated in the shave-off both years.

“Movember is a fantastic fundraising campaign that also highlights men’s health issues. One of the things they fund is prostate cancer research,” said Lewis “We are developing a new diagnostic blood test for prostate cancer, that will hopefully help physicians and patients make more confident decisions about treatment.”